Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Step in School Board Recall: Get a Lawyer

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Step in School Board Recall: Get a Lawyer

Article excerpt

My suggestion in a column last week that the entire School

Board should be kicked out of office has sparked interest in

some quarters.

The question I'm being asked now is how does one go about

starting a recall drive.

As with mostthings worth achieving, it wouldn't be easy.

The first step should be to get a lawyer involved who can make

sure all the required hoops -- and there are plenty of them --

are properly jumped through.

If the recall provisions contained in the city charter were

applicable, the process would be relatively simple.

Separate recall drives would have to be launched in each of the

seven districts from which the School Board members are elected.

In each district, the petitions would have to be signed only by

registered voters from the district.

To be successful, those circulating the petition would have to

gather signatures equal to at least 10 percent of the number of

voters who were registered in the district at the time the

School Board member was elected.

The petition would have to state in general terms why the

School Board member is being recalled.

If the supervisor of elections determined that the signatures

were proper and the number requirements were met, then a recall

election must be held within 60 days.

A majority of voters in that election would then have to vote

to remove the School Board member.

However, it's likely that state law would set the rules for a

recall rather than the city charter.

The state requirements for a recall drive are contained in

Chapter 100.361 of the Florida Statutes.

The process outlined there is more difficult.

Here are some of the things that would have to be done:

The first stumbling block is that elected officials can't be

recalled until they've served at least one-fourth of their

terms.

Because Stan Jordan, Cheryl Donelan, Billy Parker and Jimmie

Johnson just began new four-year terms last November, it would

be next November before a recall drive for them could begin. The

other three board members -- Linda Sparks, Susan Wilkinson and

Gwen Gibson -- are already more than a year into their terms. …

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